The social scene in Washington can sometimes feel repetitive. Brunch is brunch, no matter how many times restaurants try to spruce it up. The Air and Space Museum will always be crowded. And Rose’s Luxury will never not have a line outside the door. Instead of stumbling into another paddle boat on the Tidal Basin, check out some of the offbeat activities D.C. has to offer.
Ax throwing at Kraken Axes
First there was bocce. Then, darts. Now, D.C.’s love of throwing objects for fun has ventured into medieval territory. Kraken Axes is exactly what it sounds like: a place to throw large axes toward a wall. (And eventually to get a beer: The bar is applying for a liquor license.) Kraken Axes generally caters to large groups, but it also offers walk-in sessions on Thursdays and Sundays. $20 an hour gets you all the ax-throwing your triceps can handle. (You can also try Bad Axe Throwing, another local option.) 3400 Georgia Ave. NW.
Play squash at Squash on Fire
Set atop a firehouse in West End, this year-old squash facility includes more than a half-dozen squash courts along with a full-service bar. For $20 per person for 45 minutes of game time, you and a partner can try to confidently hit a small rubber ball coming at you in a blur. The venue offers a wide variety of lessons and clinics to go along with its open-court availability, in case you need to freshen up your skills. 2233 M St. NW.
Be a spy for a day with Operation Spy
If you’ve ever watched James Bond or read John le Carré and want to live that reality without, you know, the threat of actual death, Operation Spy is for you. This family-friendly group activity costs $14.95 per head ($30 if you want to go inside the museum, too) for an hour-long experience. You’ll get to live out your own mission — connecting with sources, delivering instructions and decrypting secret audio conversations. Make sure to memorize your identity, though: A single slip up can mean getting your cover blown. While you’re in Penn Quarter, you can easily fit in a post-mission dinner at any number of restaurants in the area, including a casual burger at Shake Shack or tapas at Jaleo. 800 F St. NW.
Get hurled through the air at Trapeze School of New York
Interested in doing flips off a trampoline or being flung through the air on a flying trapeze? Try the Trapeze School of New York, which provides classes in “trapeze and aerial arts,” from $40 to $65 for each two-hour session. Be warned: There’s a fair amount of prep work involved (waivers, instructions, etc.) before you actually get to fly around. In most introductory classes, a teacher starts with beginning flying technique and instruction. The last 30 minutes are devoted to trying it out, with instructors catching students from trapeze bars. For adrenaline junkies, the school offers multiweek courses called Intensive Flying Workshops, where you can spend two to three months building up your skills. 1299 New Jersey Ave. SE.